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Suffolk: Veteran takes on ultra cycling challenge to support Royal British Legion

PUBLISHED: 17:50 06 February 2014 | UPDATED: 18:19 06 February 2014

Garry McCormick during his service days

Garry McCormick during his service days

Archant

An ex-serviceman who now lives and works in Suffolk hopes to raise £20,000 for the armed forces community by completing an “ultra” cycling challenge.

Cycle challenge: Garry McCormick from Stanton who will be one of a sixteen strong party of cyclists pedalling from Gibraltar to High Wycombe for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal Cycle challenge: Garry McCormick from Stanton who will be one of a sixteen strong party of cyclists pedalling from Gibraltar to High Wycombe for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal

Garry McCormick, who backs the EADT’s Shoulder to Shoulder campaign, will spend a fortnight in the saddle this June, raising funds for the Royal British Legion during RockRide2 – a 1,500-mile sponsored bike ride.

An RAF Regiment veteran who served in Bosnia, Iraq and Sierra Leone, Mr McCormick, 47, wants to raise the profile of a charity whose vital work he has seen in action.

“I’m incredibly proud to be representing the Royal British Legion,” he said.

“Like most people, I always wear my poppy with pride, but it wasn’t until I was asked to represent the RBL that I had my eyes opened to exactly how much they support our serving and ex-serving armed forces personnel and their families.”

Mr McCormick will be setting off on his challenge from Gibraltar with 15 other charitable cyclists on June 1.

Together they will cover 1,500 miles, climbing 7,000ft through the Pyrenees mountains amid blistering 38C temperatures before their arrival in High Wycombe on Armed Services Day, two weeks later.

“I’m really excited about it,” he said.

“As well as being a challenge to raise as much money as possible, it’s also going to be a personal challenge to see if I’m good enough to do this – I have never attempted anything of this magnitude before.”

A keen sportsman, Mr McCormick began cycling after suffering a serious rugby injury and has been steadily increasing his training regime in the gym and with his club, the West Suffolk Wheelers, in careful preparation for the big challenge.

The father of two, whose youngest son Conor, 21, is also starting out in the armed services, has been a member of the RBL’s Suffolk branch since he left the RAF Regiment in 2006 after 23 years’ service.

In completing the challenge, he hopes to highlight the valuable work of the RBL and the campaigns it supports, including Shoulder to Shoulder, the EADT-backed initiative supporting veterans and serving personnel in their time of need.

To sponsor Mr McCormick visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/garrymccormick.
And to support Shoulder to Shoulder, which has raised more than £1,000, visit our campaign page.

After nine months of, for no particular reason, referring to our unborn first child as “he” (“how’s he doing in there?” etc), it came to me to make the big reveal to my wife in the moments immediately after the birth, writes Elliot Furniss, from Ipswich.

Emergency services are at the scene of a crash in a north Essex village this morning.

Engineers worked through the night to restore power to households across Suffolk and north Essex after the region was battered by winds of over 70mph.

The Angel Hotel, that closed this week pending a licence review, will reopen today, Friday January 19.

Commuters using Greater Anglia trains in Suffolk and Essex are facing further disruption after the region’s rail network was brought to its knees by yesterday’s storm.

A show celebrating the career of the most successful folk rock duos of all time is coming to the Ipswich Regent.

The mother of a selfless Suffolk fundraiser is continuing her daughter’s fight to persuade women and girls to have smear tests in her honour.

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